white space is for going nowhere 2

Going nowhere is not the same as getting nowhere.

It has taken me awhile to see that. It has taken some soul tending.

Yesterday, when I wrote about going nowhere, I was talking about the first step of that pilgrimage, staying home for space and time and rest. Staying home can give your soul room to breathe, to catch its breath. However, there is another layer to going nowhere.

In this deeper layer of staying home is valuable reflection on where I have already been and what it might mean for my soul. In the fine art of stillness, slowly and surely, healing can come.

I have my life story and you have yours, but we are connected by the original Author who has already written us into the Big Story.

Complete with summers and songs and gray skies and tears, you have a life . . .
A first day. A final day. And a few thousand in between. You have been given an honest-to-goodess human life.
You have been given your life.
No one else has your version. You'll never bump into yourself on the sidewalk. You'll never meet anyone who has your exact blend of lineage, loves,
and longings.
Your life will never be lived by anyone else.

Max Lucado, Out Live Your Life

After some time in white space, I have gathered pieces of my life that need stringing together, loose pearls in need of a strand.

In some of the white space I have carved out of my life, I have taken stock of the sweep of my years, my seasons, my pearls. I tried to capture a simple timeline* of my life, so I could look at it as if from an airplane.

Even though I was taking a look back, I could also see patterns of where God might be leading me forward and how he crafted me in his own hands to get there.

I could see Jesus in places I thought he had left me. I could see people I needed to forgive and people who might need to hear, "I'm sorry." from me. I could see spots I got stuck and those where I soared. There was laid out a general direction of my life as it was, not only as I wished it to be. I saw stepping stones on a path, some rough and some smooth, some level and some askew. Basically, I could see my life map.

Now that's getting somewhere!

I was already attempting to practice stillness, when I first heard it called "going nowhere" in a TED talk by
Pico Iyer

Stay with it, clearing out white space in your life, and your soul will thrive. In the fine art of stillness and going nowhere, you will start to see where you are headed, even before your next trip.

*Making a timeline of your life takes a few tries and tears, but it worth the effort. Start easy with a few basics, maybe ten: your birthday, a few childhood standout memories, milestones (college, work, marriage, children) and moves, up to present day. To be authentic, your timeline should include highs and lows, loves and losses. These are all part of your strand of pearls. If you had a painful childhood, do this alongside a loving and gracious friend or a wise therapist.

My timeline is from Mending the Soul, a book by Steve Tracy and workbook by Celestia Tracy.